By: Stevi Portz
Although it’s lovely to go to the spa, treat yourself to that new matching set you’ve been eyeing or take a hot bath, practicing gratitude is one of the simplest forms of self-care. One of the eight limbs of yoga or “niyamas” is Santosha, meaning contentment and appreciation for what we have. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we take this week to reflect on how we can show appreciation for the people, places and things in our lives that make life so beautiful.
With an ever-expanding TruTribe across the country, we have so much to be thankful for this year. Though yoga may be one of our favorite ways to practice gratitude, we asked TruFusion yoga teachers across the nation their favorite ways to give thanks, off the mat. When the leftovers are gone and the relatives have returned home, take these tips with you to thread more gratitude in your life every day.
Devann Sheuerman, TruFusion Saratoga
“Yoga has taught me gratitude in many different areas of my life, even when I step off of my mat. I practice gratitude first thing in the morning before I hop out of bed by saying thanks for another day and by saying thanks before I go to bed each night. I find gratitude each day by appreciating my body and listening to what it needs so I can continue to share my yoga practice and help others to explore their own. I practice gratitude by finding little moments throughout the day to pause and appreciate nature around me. The gratitude I find on my mat travels with me wherever I go so I can feel connected, inspired and peaceful on a daily basis.”
Dustin Miller, TruFusion North Park Dallas
“Being a yoga instructor it might be harder to define what gratitude looks like off the mat since I am there all the time. For me, I keep it simple and accessible. I find gratitude off my mat by what I learn on my mat. I have learned to be patient and forgiving with myself, and for that I am grateful. I have learned to be stronger mentally as well as physically, and for that I am grateful. I am able to take the hard times and stresses that I face in the world and find a lesson, and for that I am grateful.”
Adam Hawes, TruFusion Bellevue
“When we place our mats on the floor, we make a commitment. To ourselves, our challenges; to our classmates, our shared spaces; to our loved ones, past or present. We commit to our grace, our Gratitude for being able to experience the practice ahead. When the class time ends, and the mats are rolled up, this commitment may fall into the unconscious, but the purpose and meaning set in place earlier lives on. In my personal practice, I am forever grateful for the body, mind, and energy that I have been gifted, and want to share that appreciation with friends, family, co-workers, students and teachers alike. We have one vessel in this life, and to provide it with healthy, positive, and sustainable food, drink, entertainment, love, activity, purpose, and connection is a truly graceful act. I practice Gratitude through reducing poisonous influence on the mind and body, and helping others embark on new, healthy, fulfilling, and lifelong paths. And I swim with my dogs a lot.
Francesca Budesheim, TruFusion South Austin
“I practice gratitude off the mat through mindfulness and meditation. It’s easy for me to get caught up in my day to day and get frustrated with little things until I sit down, get quiet and lean into the love, joy and community I have surrounding me everyday. This sort of attention to joy and gratitude requires a dedication to yourself through self care, self love and vulnerability and there is no right or wrong way to find your mindfulness. For me it looks like walking my dogs, cleaning my house or sitting in silence and journaling. The only thing that matters is that I take time to pause, show up for myself and connect with gifts that have showed up in my life and thank them for doing so.”
Melissa Ramos, TruFusion Eastern
“Everyday as soon as I get in my car, I dedicate a couple of minutes doing some reiki on my car, since it will take me to all different TruFusion studios on any given day. After each class I make sure to thank my students for sharing their energy with me. They are not only the providers of the food that feeds me, but they provide quality content to many lessons in my life. I constantly find myself learning from my students. My mom taught me to be grateful for the things that I don’t have as well. There is always a reason for the things that don’t come out the way you expect it. And even though we might not realize it at the moment there’s always a lesson behind the situations that are not granted to us.”
Renay Wright, TruFusion Walnut Creek
“I practice gratitude off the mat by understanding life is full of options not obstacles. I enjoy activities that bring me into the present moment while connecting with nature. Some of my favorite activities include mountain biking, paddleboarding, and volunteer work with animals. They remind me to take a deep breath and look around at the beauty that surrounds me. I also listen to audiobooks on mindfulness daily and nurture my relationships by listening and leading with an open heart.
Irene Pak, TruFusion Scottsdale
“Five ways I practice gratitude off the mat: I take a gratitude walk by myself and appreciate everything beautiful I see in front of me and around me on the way. I thank my husband when he brings me coffee to bed in the morning. I thank my daughter when she does acts of kindness. I thank my students every single time after class for being my teachers. I thank God every day for my existence and for my blessings.”